THE GHOST WRITER
EWAN MCGREGOR was born in 1971 in Crieff, Scotland. Ewan became enthralled with the world of acting from a very early age, largely inspired by his actor uncle, Denis Lawson (of Local Hero fame). His passion for the silver screen was crystallised in 1977, when, as a six year old, he was taken to see his uncle act in Star Wars. Like millions of other small boys in the world, he was spellbound. He saw the film so many times that he could recite practically the whole script without drawing breath â€“ one of life's ironies that would take over twenty years to unfold.
Six months prior to graduating from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Ewan was offered the role of Private Mick Hopper in Dennis Potter's six-part musical comedy television series Lipstick on Your Collar (produced by Rosemarie Whitman). Ewan's first film role was in Bill Forsyth's Being Human, where the producer Lord David Puttnam was so impressed by Ewan's abilities that he added in extra scenes for him on the spot.
The romantic lead as a French adventurer Julien Sorel in the BBC's production of Scarlet and Black, Ewan starred in the BAFTA award winning Shallow Grave. Shallow Grave was named Best Film at the 1994 Dinard Film Festival and the film won the 1994 BAFTA Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year and the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Feature Film. Ewan's portrayal of Alex Law earned him the Hitchcock D'Argent Best Actor Award and a nomination for Best Actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards, as well as laying the roots for a highly successful partnership with the director, Danny Boyle. Ewan then went on to portray the shifty London drug-dealer Dean Raymond opposite an up-and-coming Catherine Zeta-Jones, followed by his first solo male lead in Peter Greenaway's erotic art-house film The Pillow Book.
Although Shallow Grave provided Ewan's breakthrough role, it was his portrayal of heroin-addict Mark Renton in Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting that catapulted McGregor to international fame. Trainspotting won a string of prestigious awards, including the BAFTA Scotland award for Best Feature Film, while McGregor himself picked up BAFTA Scotland's Best Actor accolade, and for the second year running, the Empire magazine award for Best British Actor and from the London Film Critics' Circle.
After the success of Trainspotting, Ewan took on the contrasting role of Frank Churchill opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Emma, directed by Doug McGrath. Ewan then starred opposite Tara Fitzgerald in Mark Herman's Cesar award winning Brassed Off.
Ewan's US film debut arrived in the shape of Nightwatch, a grisly slasher movie filmed in LA and having returned to Britain, he starred in Philippe Rousselot's The Serpent's Kiss with Pete Postlethwaite, Greta Scacchi and Richard E.Grant.
Ewan was reunited with director Danny Boyle in A Life Less Ordinary, with Cameron Diaz, a role which won him the Best British Actor award (for the third time running) in the 1997 Empire Movie Awards. Also in 1997, Ewan received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role in the ER episode, The Long Way Round.
Ewan then played opposite Michael Stipe in the glam rock film, Velvet Goldmine, followed by a portrayal of the infamous trader Nick Leeson and his spectacular fall from grace in Rogue Trader opposite Anna Friel. He teamed up again with Brassed Off director Mark Herman in the Golden Globe-winning Little Voice, alongside Jane Horrocks and Michael Caine.
Life came full circle for McGregor when he landed the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the legendary role once played by Sir Alec Guinness. Director George Lucas then invited Ewan back to star in the sequels; Star Wars Episode II â€“ Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III (2005).
In Baz Luhrmann's Oscar and BAFTA award winning musical Moulin Rouge, Ewan played Christian, opposite Nicole Kidman's Satine. Ewan starred in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down and went on to film Young Adam with Peter Mullan and Tilda Swinton, for which he received a London Film Critics Circle Awards nomination.
In 2002, Ewan filmed Down With Love opposite Rene Zellweger and then Tim Burton's Big Fish (2003), alongside Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Alison Lohman, Jessica Lange and Danny DeVito.
Other film credits include Marc Forster's supernatural thriller, Stay, alongside Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling, Michael Bay's The Island (2005) alongside Scarlett Johanssen, Djimon Hounsou and Steve Buscemi, the animated films Robots (Dir. Chris Wedge) and Valiant (Dir. Gary Chapman), Scenes of a Sexual Nature (Dir. Edward Blum), Miss Potter (Dir. Chris Noonan), Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream (2008), Incendiary, The Tourist, I Love You Phillip Morris with Jim Carey, Angels and Demons and Amelia.
Ewan's theatre credits include the role of Sky Masterson in the 2005 Dommar Warehouse production of Guys and Dolls and as Iago in Donmar Warehouse's Othello in 2007 and What the Butler Saw for the Salisbury Playhouse.
Ewan received the Icon Award for achievement at the 2008 Empire Film Awards.
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